Last week, my dad had a heart attack. I got the call from my mum around tea time on Wednesday, and so I hastily finished up at work, and headed straight over to the hospital where he’d been admitted.
It was a funny old drive – an hour away – not knowing what to expect or how to respond. We didn’t really know what we were dealing with at that point, so I just had to quiet myself as best as I could, take deep breaths, pray and resist the urge to drive like a looney tune.
As I drove, the word ‘glory’ kept popping into my head. It’s a word we use often in Christian circles – to glorify, to glory in, but this was different….the word I was thinking of, was a noun, like a physical thing, the glory of God. As I was driving and mulling over this (helpful) distraction, I popped a CD in and the first song to play was ‘King of Wonders’ (Matt Redman)
Your glory shines, before our eyes.
The more we see, the more we love you.
And so that’s how I prayed, for God’s glory to be felt in this situation, not just for dad and the fam, but also by the people treating him. I wasn’t even totally sure what I was praying for, but I definitely know that in the presence of glory, everything else feels slightly more manageable.
‘Glory’ popped up again tonight in a Bible reading so I finally got round to googling the exact translation. As a noun, it literally means ‘the manifest presence of God’.
To us mere mortals, ‘glory’ is the stillness, the one’ness which arrives when we suddenly get past ourselves and ‘break through’, in prayer. The original Hebrew means ‘weight’ or ‘heaviness’ and get this, it’s also one of the most commonly used words in the Bible.
And according to Wiki, central to ancient Judeo-Christian belief is the idea that if we are made in the image of God, we are also made with the capacity to share in and participate with, that lovely sense of glory.
God’s presence doesn’t fix all of life’s problems or protect us from grief, despair or fear….but it will make those things manageable, survivable.
In a stressful situation, I can’t think of anything I’d want more.
P.s my amazing Dad is now recovering at home.